A federal district court recently granted a motion to dismiss claims that defined contribution plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties of loyalty and prudence, and violated ERISA’s anti-inurement and prohibited transaction rules, by using forfeited funds to satisfy a portion of the employer’s matching contribution obligations where the plan also permitted using such forfeitures to

A federal district court in Massachusetts dismissed ERISA fiduciary breach and prohibited transaction claims against 401(k) plan fiduciaries, ruling that the prohibited transaction claims were time-barred and the fiduciary breach claims—once limited by a settlement agreement in an earlier class action against MassMutual involving similar allegations (“Gordan”)—failed to plausibly state a claim.  The

A California district court recently denied a motion to dismiss claims that the fiduciaries of a 401(k) plan breached their ERISA fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty by selecting underperforming, high-cost investments and causing the plan to pay excessive fees for services.  The decision is notable for illustrating how pleading standards in investment performance and

Defense counsel frequently lament the difficulties of defending 401(k) investment and recordkeeping fee litigation when different judges render conflicting rulings on motions to dismiss seemingly indistinguishable complaints.  Even when the judges purport to apply the same legal standards, the outcomes can differ.  For that reason, we thought it would be interesting to track the decisions

Approximately one year after Congress enacted the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“SECURE 2.0”), the IRS issued Notice 2024-02, which addresses SECURE 2.0 implementation issues and extends the plan amendment deadline.  Although Notice 2024-02 offers helpful guidance for employers and plan administrators, it does not include hotly anticipated guidance on SECURE 2.0 overpayment and

The day after Thanksgiving, while many of us were fortunate enough to be reaching for leftover pie, the IRS released proposed regulations implementing the requirement that 401(k) plan sponsors permit “long-term part-time employees” to make elective contributions to a 401(k) plan.  These proposed regulations arrive just one month before the statutory requirements are set to

On November 1st, the IRS released a number of inflation adjustments for 2024, including to certain limits for qualified retirement plans. As expected, this year’s adjustments are more modest than last year’s significant increases. The table below provides an overview of the key adjustments for qualified retirement plans.

Qualified Defined Benefit Plans
20232024

We have previously blogged on the flurry of class action lawsuits challenging 401(k) plan investments in the BlackRock LifePath Index Target Date Funds. District courts around the country—seven of them in total—have granted motions to dismiss claims by 401(k) plan participants because their copy-cat allegations of underperformance were insufficient to raise a plausible inference of imprudence. That is, until now. Last week, a federal district court judge in the Eastern District of Virginia became the first to conclude that the participants’ allegations of imprudence related to the BlackRock Funds were plausible. Trauernicht v. Genworth, No. 22-cv-532, 2023 WL 5961651 (E.D. Va. Sept. 13, 2023).

On Friday, the IRS released Notice 2023-62, which addresses certain pressing implementation issues related to the SECURE 2.0 requirement that catch-up contributions for participants with FICA wages of more than $145,000 during the prior calendar year from the employer maintaining the plan must be made on a Roth basis.

In welcome news for plan sponsors, the guidance announces a two-year “administrative transition period” for implementation of this requirement, which was otherwise set to take effect on January 1, 2024.  The notice confirms that, despite a drafting quirk in the SECURE 2.0 statute which suggested that catch-up contributions would be discontinued after 2023, catch-up contributions will continue to be available.  The notice also outlines future guidance that Treasury and the IRS intend to issue on other Roth catch-up requirement topics.

A third district court has dismissed with prejudice a complaint alleging that defendants breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by offering 401(k) plan participants the option to invest in BlackRock LifePath Index Target Date Funds (the “Funds”).  Beldock v. Microsoft, Case No. 22-cv-1082 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 24, 2023).  Although the outcome of the court’s ruling here is consistent with earlier decisions, the rationale underlying the Beldock decision arguably goes further than in prior rulings, thus providing additional food for thought.